View Full Version : Review: USB DENEB ** work in progress ignore **

1st February 2012, 16:09
http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/4745/denebbig.png (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/33/denebbig.png/)

Hardware: Michael Böhmer = The deneb usb card.
High res link: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/713/denebbig.png/ (txs mfilos)

Software: Chris Hodges = Poseidon a great usb stack.

The hardware Manual:

Resellers in the past:

Usefull resources:
http://www.e3b.de/usb/index_e.html (home of the Deneb, E3B product page...)
http://www.platon42.de/index2.html (home of the USB stack with updated version)

Alternative usb stack for low end Amiga:

USB 2.0 High speed for zorro 3 Amiga.
2MB rom space to put extra rom modules.
A1200 clockport

Stuff you need to know:
Trident: sort of configuration center for poseidon."control panel"
Luceferin: the tool to put rom modules in.
Told later but to make sure:
Poseidon: USB stack = software
Deneb: Zorro Card = hardware (like Eisa or PCI)

This is a review and holds some tips and tricks to but please bear in mind that this does not replace the installation manual. Please read that first.

If you wan't it quick only read this: The Deneb USB card brings high speed usb and extra rom space to your bigbox amiga.

Basically it adds “the cheap world of mass market usb devices”. The deneb is an usb card expansion card for for bigbox Amiga 2000-3000-4000 version and some zorro towers. It sports highspeed mode to. (usb 2.0) Check the specs below for zorro towers supported.

For high speed mode it needs a free zorro 3 slot that is present on A3000 and A4000, sadly the A2000 does not have zorro 3. But no worries the Deneb has a jumpblock to select.

I noticed that even zorry II mode is much faster then the subway usb.

Remember A3000 and dma issues with buster 7! So you need buster 9 or 11. In practical mileage may vary and if you google carefully you will find problems here and there with high speed mode and some well expanded systems. In my experience clearing the rom blank and setting zorro II temporarly can help out.

Poseidon usb stack is the software part that takes care of USB hardware. Poseidon recognises a lot of devices by using industry standards.

Poseidon with deneb works reasonably fast on an 060, it still runs on stock 030, though for me a bit to slow. But I am a bit spoiled user. Poseidon is also found on Aros and Morphos. There it works a lot faster. Poseidon can be installed in amiga os 4.1 classic then your deneb will work. Though tried only once myself so not really representable...

Here is it supported devices list for usb hardware:


This image can be used to read this more easily:

http://img856.imageshack.us/img856/4745/denebbig.png (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/856/denebbig.png/)

The Deneb features 2 external USB ports and one internal USB port. One thing to note the internal usb port has an external type connector, strange but true!

Amiga Kit sells a converter cable to solve this, so you could fit an internal usb card reader in your a4000D even unther the big front floppy. Most of the newer ones have also usb in front panel as extra so that is real modern style Amiga then.

http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/7229/clipboard01ydp.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/193/clipboard01ydp.jpg/)

If you are cheap, you can solder it cheaply using connectors available on ebay. Only keep the right color convention code in mind then.

http://img267.imageshack.us/img267/1808/40956698.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/267/40956698.jpg/)

The deneb "fills the rom gap" of only having 512k roms to program on an big box amiga, by providing its own rom 2 meg rom available for rom modules. You can load modules there that could render a bootable usb stick, a working usb mouse at early boot etc.... Also libs can be put there and they over-rule so very interesting for libs for 060.

One thing I managed to do in the past is to use an USB stick as hard drive. The article below will bring you insight into the rom part of the Deneb and the software Luceferin. You could do the same, even usb mouse in early boot. This shows how modular Amiga is in the year 2012. usb hard disk inc early boot: http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=15852 Now booting from usb stick might be a bit far of for you, but like putting the new scsi device for lager hard disks might sound more interesting so the new hard disk is supported.

Installation software show's up in workbench with the config jumper on. (older version in my case) This is how the card gets delivered.

For the cheap users like me how find (found) the A1200 clockport important one golden tip for orientation.

One thing that has been asked, and that Admin Keropi helped me in the past is how the clock port can be used and how it is aligned. (picture from keropi) Pin 1... (red cable on clock port cable)


There is a jumpers block on the card as mentioned before. All the software you need is on the card, but there is more up to date software available, at the time of this post.

Refer to the manual for its settings: [URL]http://www.e3b.de/usb/soft/dnb_manual.pdf (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/269/denebcppin1.jpg/) .

Please do not hold the clockport for the jumperblock. The deneb is not very user friendly overall. You can do much stuff wrong like put the Deneb upside down in the slot. It could have some more markings. Though since this is one mans work, I am not going to be to critical about it. It is a bit sad the developer of the deneb did not take the habits of Individuals with clear markers on pcb, since this is so easy to do...

The clockport is the one most close to the socket of the motherboard!

http://img809.imageshack.us/img809/4745/denebbig.png (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/809/denebbig.png/)

It is important to know you need this software (workbench) installed before you can install/use the card: (you can use the card by using the rom as well but before you get there)

Install Workbench. 3.X
Figure out how to put lha in C (you need lha.run to unpack files)
put updated Installer found on aminet in C. (might be needed in Utilities as well - go discuss elsewhere not here please :) :)
Install Mui38 .. Needed by at least trident.

This is the shortest list possible, for a functionable amiga much more is needed, but that is out of the scope here.

It is frequently asked on fora will this work or this.. Now poseidon seems to be written to support many devices. Like almost every usb ethernet device is supported wich brings back the investment largely.

Sound is supported by AHI as expected.

There is one thing to note: no wireless support. Though lots of stuff is supported. (image from the manual)

I included the image of the manual, it is important to remember to. (possible expensive bloopers)

http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/9271/clipboard01ne.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/39/clipboard01ne.jpg/)

* Note the oriantation of the usb connectors, failing to do so gives 5 V on usb device. = smoking usb hardware
* You see the chips in the a4000D on top of the deneb otherwise the deneb is upside down
* Note the place of the clock port and the jumper block. Do not mix.

My conclusion: I think the deneb is one of the most important facts of the last years. We can be proud what has been produced for our Bigboxes. It brings highspeed usb to the amiga. Luckily Poseidon supports it. Poseidon is a mature product that works well. The 2 meg rom is really a help to customise youre system. You can enhance your amiga a lot by it. If you buy it you do not need a zorro ethernet card wich is not available new. You get instant return on investment. It works much faster then the subway.

These are the sales specifications given:

Technical Features:

Zorro-II/III card with flexible FPGA bus interface
Real Zorro-III busmaster (dependent on system configuration)
Both Zorro-II and Zorro-III usage also possible in PIO mode (AmigaOS 4.0! (http://www.vesalia.de/e_amigaos4.htm))
Supports Fast Zorro-II on Winner ZIV boards (http://www.vesalia.de/e_z4.htm)
Real USB2.0 with full support for high speed mode (480 MBps)
Integrated 3 port hub (one internal, two external USB ports)
All ports are safe against overvoltage and overcharge
Integrated power management
Energy-saving 1.8V/2.5V/3.3V technology
Compatible with all 68030/040/060 and PPC accelerator cards
Integrated Flash ROM (4 MB) to host the Poseidon USB stack
Additional Flash ROM (2MB) for firmware and installation software
22-pin expansion port, clockport-compatible (optional, dependent on firmware)
Bus interface can be updated by software

Software Support:

Fully compatible with Amiga OS 3.1 (http://www.vesalia.de/e_workbench31.htm), 3.5 (http://www.vesalia.de/e_os35.htm), 3.9 (http://www.vesalia.de/e_os39.htm) and 4.0 (http://www.vesalia.de/e_amigaos4.htm) (PIO mode)
Fully integrated into the Amiga OS via system-friendly drivers
Convenient control of the USB stack via GUI (MUI)
Drivers for USB mice and keyboards (HID devices), printers, cardreaders (SCSI emulation) and soundcards included

Package Contents:

DENEB USB controller
Slot bracket with two USB ports
Detailed English installation manual
Registration card
Poseidon V4.0 OEM version (no keyfile required)

System Requirements:

Amiga OS 3.1 or higher
CPU 68030 (25 MHz) or better
100% compatible Zorro-II/-III bus
Buster 9 or 11 for Zorro-III DMA
Power supply delivering at least 1.5A @ 5V (max. 500 mA on every USB port)

2nd February 2012, 19:51
Ok for now ok.. Open for comments :thumbsup:

2nd February 2012, 19:56
brilliant m8, any chance of a picture of the card?

2nd February 2012, 19:58
brilliant m8, any chance of a picture of the card?

Uhumm - I need to dig. I do not remember in wich amiga it is.. :oops:

2nd February 2012, 20:37
Hi-Def picture --> Click da pic :)

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQrQye5ll9HL7Lz5vY7xGdiMceh4nw8-je_pxN-AHPoLZPRLndc (http://www.relec.ch/deneb_big.png)

2nd February 2012, 20:42

2nd February 2012, 21:32
Hi-Def picture --> Click da pic :)

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQrQye5ll9HL7Lz5vY7xGdiMceh4nw8-je_pxN-AHPoLZPRLndc (http://www.relec.ch/deneb_big.png)

appreciated :thumbsup: and referenced in high res

---------- Post added at 22:32 ---------- Previous post was at 21:53 ----------


Justin if you see spelling mistakes please comment them.. txs

3rd February 2012, 05:21
Very nice article jvdbossc :thumbsup: The Deneb cards are is nothing short of awesome :)

3rd February 2012, 08:08
Very nice article jvdbossc :thumbsup: The Deneb cards are is nothing short of awesome :)

I totally agree!!! :thumbsup:
To bad there probably won't be any more manufactured :(

4th February 2012, 19:45
Very nice article jvdbossc :thumbsup: The Deneb cards are is nothing short of awesome :)

I totally agree!!! :thumbsup:
To bad there probably won't be any more manufactured :(

Thanks :thumbsup:

5th February 2012, 12:53
Nice write up

Probably the single most important thing I got for My A4000 well worth getting one

Supports Fast Zorro-II on Winner ZIV boards Could`t get this to work only time it would do anything if the config jumper was left in place but once that was removed the card would disappear, but the deneb is going in me 4000 and not the 1200 tower

6th February 2012, 13:17
Great article mate...well done

6th February 2012, 14:06
Very nice article jvdbossc :thumbsup: The Deneb cards are is nothing short of awesome :smile:

I totally agree!!! :thumbsup:
To bad there probably won't be any more manufactured :-(

Yes there won't be.
But I wouldn't be surprised if some new Zorro USB card came about.
Apparently lots have missed a Deneb, so demand exists for USB.
I would be even less surprised if it used some PCI controller chip with PCI-Zorro bridge. Why reinvent the wheel.
Only question is suitable software support (i.e. Poseidon).
Anyway, enough conjecturing.
Great article Jurgen :thumbsup:

8th February 2012, 10:12
oh yes have it on good authority that there be other usb solutions at some point

mainly the hurdles BLTCON0 has said to over come